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The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine present “Concussion: A National Challenge” – a convening of the nation’s top concussion scientists, engineers, clinicians and researchers, to educate and inform the public of the scientifically based, factual information about the detection, treatment and prevention of concussions.
From June 23-24, 2015 at the Global Center for Health Innovation, approximately 20 of the nation’s leaders in basic science, medicine and engineering will offer lay, informative presentations exploring the known medical issues and the potential technologies that will foster greater safety for the public. The goal of this meeting is to help set a national agenda leading to better brain health through the detection and prevention of concussion, as well as to identify the most promising approaches that should be pursued in three major areas of sports, battlefield and automobiles.
“It is the mission of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to advise the government and the general public about critical issues facing our nation,” said Hunter Peckham, PhD, Distinguished University Professor, Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics, Case Western Reserve University, and NAE member. “Since 2000, Case Western Reserve University has hosted several NAE regional or topical conferences on subjects such as Biomedical Technology, Energy, Vaccine Production and Shale Gas. But concussion is different; everyone knows of someone that has suffered from concussion.”
The conference is hosted and co-sponsored by Case Western Reserve University. Peckham is Chair of “Concussion: A National Challenge,” while Jay Alberts, PhD, the Edward F. and Barbara A. Bell Family Endowed Chair, Director, Concussion Center, Cleveland Clinic, is the Conference General Co-Chair. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, CEO, Cleveland Clinic and IOM member is the event Honorary Chair.
More than 1,000 participants are expected to attend the event, with main seating in the Global Center for Health Innovation Junior Ballroom. Overflow seating will be available at the Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public with advance registration.
“Concussion has come into national awareness as a major health crisis facing the public. With the rapid advancements in neurological medicine it has become clear that repetitive brain injury, even at relatively low energy levels, is a source of brain trauma that faces our youth, men and women, and elderly – from playing sports, to automobile collisions or falls, to the battlefield – there is a critical need to prevent and detect the neurological effects of these injuries through the cooperative exploration of experts from different disciplines within medicine and engineering as we jointly seek solutions,” said Alberts.
There are hundreds of concussion conferences and seminars every year. We can hardly highlight them all. But here are a couple.
On September 11, 2014, there will be a Concussion Management & ImPACT Administration and Interpretation Seminar in the Community Room at 201 Pennsylvania Parkway in northern Indianapolis.
The seminar, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is for physicians and other qualified medical professionals interested in administering and interpreting post-injury ImPACT tests. “Those in attendance will be able to implement ImPACT into their daily practice and improve the quality of concussion management of their patients,” according to the organizer – the Indiana Sports Concussion Network. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to register.
More global in nature is the 12th Annual World Congress of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 6-8, 2015
SBMT is a non-profit society organized for the purpose of encouraging basic and clinical scientists who are interested in areas of Brain Mapping, engineering, stem cell, nanotechnology, imaging and medical device to improve the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients afflicted with neurological disorders.
“Brain mapping,” according to the organization, “has been prominent in the world news recently, with President Obama unveiling the ‘BRAIN’ Initiative – a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, cancer, Parkinson’s Diseases, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. SBMT has been instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative in the US and has advocated for similar initiative in Australia. SBMT is collaborating with the European Brain Project and will be highlighting the latest advancements in the field by bringing together leaders of industry, academia, foundations and government agencies at the 12th Annual World Brain Mapping & Therapeutics in Los Angeles, California, USA. Wide variety of topics from nanotechnology, cellular therapeutics to advance imaging and devices will be covered in this world congress.
“Congressman Chaka Fattah, who is a recipient of the Pioneer in Healthcare Policy award from SBMT, will be one of the keynote speakers. Congressman Fattah has been instrumental in formulation of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative and he has been working closely with SBMT to advance the field through G20 World Brain Mapping & Therapeutic Initiative.
“The SBMT Congress program will include prominent local and international speakers (60+ scientific sessions with more than 500 speakers). The theme of the World Congress is: Brain Therapeutics: breaking boundaries of science, technology, medicine, art and healthcare policy, the program will highlight state-of-the-art science and technology in the field of neuroscience, engineering, neurosurgery, psychiatry, psychology, molecular biology, neurology, radiology and oncology, and will also feature emerging areas such as nanoneuroscience/nanoneurosurgery, stem cell and regenerative medicine, molecular psychiatry, nanobioelectronics, robotics, artificial intelligence and supercomputing/meta-data analysis.”
For further information about the convention contact Bryan Aroz at Bryan.Aroz@WorldBrainMapping.org
One of the byproducts of the Concussion Awareness Summit in Minneapolis run by Brewer Sports and visionary Jack Brewer last month was a smartly written column by legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg called “Finally—Light At the End of Concussion Tunnel” for the Forbes.com website.
Steinberg, who was the keynote speaker, noted in the piece that “breakthroughs in brain research and extensive testing of retired athletes has made it clear that our society is about to witness an epidemic of symptoms and damage in athletes in a variety of sports.” He went on to attribute this, in part, to the creation of “a new breed of robo-athletes able to run more quickly at greater size with unprecedented power.
“Pioneer researchers like Dr. Robert Cantu, Dr. Julian Bailes, Dr. Robert Hovda and Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz have conducted studies, which seem to point towards three or more concussions as a trigger point. Multiple concussions can cause exponentially higher rates of ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, premature senility and dementia, elevated rates of depression and Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”
Steinberg added that “after being involved with six concussion seminars and understanding the depth of this danger we never have been able to find a way to stop the concussion from occurring or do much to treat the consequences.”
But there is “hope,” according to Steinberg. “One of the organizers of the concussion event, Gerald Commissiong is CEO of Amarantus BioScience, is searching for a way to cure the symptoms.”
He also highlighted “Dr. Jacob VanLandingham, who’s Florida based firm Prevacus is getting close to a solution. Former athlete Christopher Nowinski has done groundbreaking work in this field. There are many groups across the country racing to find a cure for concussion impairment.”
And for this reason and others, there is hope.